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Accused Bull Valley man facing more sex abuse charges
By Charles Keeshan | Daily Herald Staff

Leonard Puccini

 

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Published: 7/29/2010 4:57 PM

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A McHenry County man accused last month of molesting a boy he met through Big Brothers Big Sisters turned himself in Thursday to face new charges alleging he molested three other boys dating back more than two decades.

Leonard W. Puccini, 50, of the 9000 block of Shadow Lane in Bull Valley, is charged with criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse stemming from allegations he molested teenage boys he had befriended between 1989 and 2008.

Puccini, who faces a maximum 15 years in prison if found guilty of the assault and seven years on the abuse charges, is free after posting $7,500 cash bond shortly after his arrest. His attorney could not be reached immediately for comment.

The new charges come exactly one month after McHenry County Sheriff's deputies arrested Puccini on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving a 12-year-old boy he previously mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters. The charge alleges Puccini inappropriately touched the boy July 21, 2009 inside his Bull Valley residence. He was not serving as the boy's Big Brother at the time.

McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said after that arrest several others came forward with molestation allegations against Puccini. Besides the three boys listed in the new charges, investigators are looking into accusations involving six other boys, Zinke said.

Court records indicate the new charges stem from incidents occurring in August 1989, December 1995 and August 2008.

Puccini also faces a felony computer tampering charge claiming he attempted to hack into the family computer of his initial accuser in August 2009 and change its passwords, sheriff's Lt. James Popovits said.

After his first arrest, Big Brothers Big Sisters officials said Puccini passed through a rigorous screening process before being matched with the boy he now stands accused of molesting.

However, public court records show Puccini had a criminal record that includes allegations he gave alcohol to a pair of high school freshmen, secretly recording a conversation with one boy's mother and tried to turn the boys against their parents. In 1988 he struck a plea deal with local prosecutors under which he admitted guilt to a felony eavesdropping charge.

Puccini is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 5 on the sex abuse allegations.